Blue skies, sunshine and puffy white clouds welcomed hundreds of transplants, snow birds and folks who flew down specifically to take part in New Bedford Day 2015, in Ft. Myers, Florida. Back up 11 years when former New Bedford Mayor Brian Lawler, his wife Joanne and some close friends launched the first get together that has grown over the years. It's a family reunion and the family consists of friends from New Bedford and the Southcoast meeting at a nature park called The Shell Factory.

Everyone in casual attire with name tags and cocktails in hand, groups of folks can be heard saying hello and meeting each other with lots of hugs and laughter. Retired teachers, police, fire, municipal workers, business owners and the like, convening for three hours of fun and shared memories.

Some folks plan a week around this signature event, buying tickets to see the Red Sox in Spring training at the beautiful Jet Blue Stadium, playing golf at some of the most incredibly gorgeous courses, fishing for Marlin or just enjoying the sunshine on the perfect Ft. Myers Beach. New Bedford Day has come to be more than a gathering of friends. It's a connection of one to another, the basic fabric of community! Happy New Bedford Day, the 2nd Tuesday in March, to all who have participated or plan to in the future!